The State of the Industry
But there is also a trend toward states having more control over money than the individual schools. What has been a site-based management trend is moving back to a more central control.
Another trend that we're seeing tremendous interest in is the whole idea of diversity of the student population, especially as it relates to special needs, English-language learning, learning disabilities … there's just a huge amount of growth in the demand in that area, and … for publishers who have technical applications (where some content is delivered online in some way), this is a place where there's really a huge opportunity …
How important is cross-media publishing and integration to the educational publisher?
The whole focus in the publishing business right now is on content—it's not even about the delivery mechanism. And I think it's a really positive thing.
During the [initial Internet boom], people producing online materials wanted to think of themselves as technology people. And publishers who published books wanted to see themselves as print people. Now, people see themselves as content providers. All eyes are on content, and I think that's great.
What are some of the best examples you've seen of educational publishers integrating electronic media into their business models?
Some really fine companies like Scholastic have developed products that deliver content across all media—Scholastic just has a tremendous professional-development product online for teachers. If you want to talk about a publisher who has done a fantastic job of embracing all available mediums, it's Scholastic.
LeapFrog SchoolHouse is an amazing example of taking what is a toy and making it a hugely successful learning device. They still use paper books, but the technology enables the child to use part of it like a computer. LeapFrog SchoolHouse has really done their homework and focused on content and curriculum, not just the medium.